The 19 editors of the global editions of fashion magazine Vogue, have adopted a new policy to ban models under the age of 16 or with eating disorders from their glossy pages.
"Vogue believes that good health is beautiful," Jonathan Newhouse, chairman of Condé Nast International, Vogue's publishers, said in a statement released on Thursday. “Vogue editors around the world want the magazines to reflect their commitment to the health of the models who appear on the pages and the well-being of their readers.”
The editors have pledged to "not knowingly work with models under the age of 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder," according to the statement.
Casting directors will from now on be required to check model’s IDs to verify their ages at photo shots.
The editors have also promised to encourage "healthy backstage working conditions", such as food options.
The group acknowledged that there were "pressing issues relating to ill-health in the industry" and that “many women” look up to models as role models.
The health initiative is important for the fashion world, former model Sara Ziff said, welcoming the new move. Ziff was discovered at the age of 14, and has since founded The Model Alliance, which works to improve working conditions of models and encourage the industry to take better care of its workers.
"Most editions of Vogue regularly hire models who are minors, so for Vogue to commit to no longer using models under the age of 16 marks an evolution in the industry," she told the Associated Press news agency.
The American, French, Chinese and British editions of the fashion magazine among those that will start following the new guidelines with their June issues, and the Japanese edition will start in July.
Vogue editors also said that they would encourage fashion designers “to consider the consequences of unrealistically small sample sizes of their clothing, which limits the range of women who can be photographed in their clothes, and encourages the use of extremely thin models".
The Vogue announcement included the following six-point pledge:
1. We will not knowingly work with models under the age of 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder. We will work with models who, in our view, are healthy and help to promote a healthy body image.
2. We will ask agents not to knowingly send us underage girls and casting directors to check IDs when casting shoots, shows and campaigns.
3. We will help to structure mentoring programs where more mature models are able to give advice and guidance to younger girls, and we will help to raise industry-wide awareness through education, as has been integral to the Council of Fashion Designers of America Health Initiative.
4. We will encourage producers to create healthy backstage working conditions, including healthy food options and a respect for privacy. We will encourage casting agents not to keep models unreasonably late.
5. We encourage designers to consider the consequences of unrealistically small sample sizes of their clothing, which limits the range of women who can be photographed in their clothes, and encourages the use of extremely thin models.
6. We will be ambassadors for the message of healthy body image.